GKN Aerospace commissioned what it says is the world’s largest known laser directed energy deposition additive-manufacturing (AM) cell as part of its new Global Technology Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Cell 3 is the next step in pushing the boundaries of large-scale additive manufacturing of titanium aircraft structures through the process of laser metal deposition with wire (LMD-w). It will enable the development of five-meter titanium components using the LMD-w process. According to GKN Aerospace, LMD-w has shown proficiencies in producing components faster and with significantly reduced lead times.
“Cell 3 will create opportunities to deliver a whole new level of additively manufactured titanium components to sizes needed for safety-critical air and space structures,” said Shawn Black, GKN Aerospace’s president of defense. “This will accelerate the introduction of our technology into production while helping to support the U.S. supply chain and reducing reliance on foreign-sourced materials.”